Tell me about your books
I’ve released two so far and they are part of a four-book YA series that centres on a place called Blackbirch. It’s a small town that has a history seeped in witchcraft and the story kicks off when 17-year-old Josh Taylor returns there after the death of his parents in a car crash that may not have been an accident.
After his mother’s death, Josh discovers she had many secrets, some of which involve memories he is now missing and must recover, and the origins of a magical power that surfaces in his veins to give him special abilities.
This power is also shared with a mysterious girl who can visit Josh in his dreams. Together they must figure out how to keep the magick safe from others who want to steal it for themselves.
The series is set in the real world, so there are also friendships, romance, high school, and life responsibilities to deal with, as well as plenty of action and spells.
When and how did you start writing?
I was always a big reader from the time I was a kid, and that just naturally morphed into writing stories. I don’t remember when I started, but I know in high school I would write stories and share them with friends. They were usually terrible first drafts that I’d never show to anyone if I wrote them now, but they were good practice. In 2015 I decided to take my writing seriously, began querying, joined the writing community, and launched my blog to help fellow writers with advice.
What have been your greatest obstacles to overcome when writing?
Definitely the learning curve that comes with taking a book from the first draft to the last.
There’s so much rewriting involved, and sometimes you might not know something isn’t working until you’re numerous drafts in and others, like beta readers, have had a look.
I’ve had to really dig deep at times when feedback means scrapping an idea, plotline, or even a whole MS and returning to the drawing board. It can be disheartening to know you haven’t gotten the story to the place you wanted it to be, but picking yourself back up, regrouping your ideas, and going all in on another draft usually does get the story there in the end, even if it feels like it’ll be a huge task to undertake.
What do you consider your greatest writing accomplishment?
Self-publishing my debut when a contract with a small press fell through. I was only weeks away from the release when things shifted and my choices were to hit the query trenches again or just dive into getting the book out there myself. I don’t regret the decision to go it alone, but I had to suddenly go into self-publishing when I hadn’t planned for that, so there was lots of learning on the fly. The book has since garnered great reviews and even made it to the shelves of bookstores and libraries, which were accomplishments I never thought I’d achieve on my own.
You share a lot of writing advice on your blog. Did you study writing or are you learning as you go and posting the knowledge you have gained?
I have done a few different writing courses of the years, but I’m a learn-by-doing writer, and the writing advice on my blog posts are usually what I’ve been researching and learning about to improve in my own work. If I’ve found it useful or helpful, I’ll share it with others in my posts.
What do you want your readers to feel when they have closed the last page of your book?
Each book that I’ve released so far ends with a cliff-hanger, so I hope they’re eager to read the next story and aren’t too annoyed with me. For the final book in my series, and any future stand-alone books, I would hope I’ve done the story justice and wrapped it up in a way that makes readers feel satisfied with what they’ve just read.
What would you do if you didn’t write?
No idea! I’ve always wanted to be a writer, so I’ve never put much thought into anything else.
What are your current projects? What should we be looking out for?
I’m in the final editing stages of book 3 in my series, which will be released very soon, and I’m writing the last book now, which will hopefully follow not long after. Once that’s done, it’ll be time to think of some new characters and ideas, which will be strange as I’ve been working on my Blackbirch series since 2001!
What is your ultimate dream as a writer? I think every writer wants to reach as many readers as possible, and that would certainly be a dream for me. On a personal level, I’d like to work out how to write a good quality book in as little drafts as possible, but if I’m still happy typing away years from now and working on stories that I love, that’ll be the ultimate dream.
Universal book links for eBooks/Paperbacks
https://books2read.com/blackbirch2 Social Media:
K.M. Allan is an identical twin, but not the evil one. She started her career penning beauty articles for a hairstyling website and now powers herself with chocolate and green tea while she writes novels and blogs about writing.
When she’s not creating YA stories full of hidden secrets, nightmares, and powerful magic, she likes to read, binge-watch too much TV, spend time with family, and take more photos than she will ever humanly need.
Visit her website, www.kmallan.com, to discover the mysteries of the universe. Or at the very least, some good writing tips.